• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Larkin - Churchgoing and High Windows

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

PHILIP LARKIN (1922-1985) BIOGRAPHY Philip Larkin was born in Coventry, England, in 1922. He was (and still is) one of the most well-known and widely read poets in England, yet his writing and personal politics are also quite controversial. He was a poet, novelist, and critic, a leading figure of 'The Movement,' term coined to describe a group of British poets that coalesced during the 1950s. 'The Movement' poets addressed everyday British life in a plain, straightforward language and often in traditional forms. He was educated at King Henry VIII School where he wrote for the school magazine. At the age of 18 he entered St. John's College Oxford, where he studied English and met Kingsley Amis. After graduating he became a librarian. Larkin wrote nearly continuously throughout his adult life, but he also made his living as a librarian for several university libraries. As a poet Larkin made his debut with the collection THE NORTH SHIP in 1945, written using short lines and carefully worked-out rhyme schemes. It was published at his own expense. The sad songs showed the influence of Yeats. It was followed by two novels, JILL (1946) and A GIRL IN WINTER (1947). ...read more.

Middle

As Larkin looks at the freedom given to the generation which has succeeded his own in the poem 'High Windows', he is confronted with an optimistic image of endlessness: "And immediately /Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:/ The sun-comprehending glass,/ And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows/ Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless." Larkin is praising the virtue of forever looking forward and upward: his conception of the future is one of hope embodied in the image of high windows, out of reach and incomprehensible for those living in the present, but the 'deep blue air' which characterises that hope will be the inheritance of a future generation. This is the view of life which preoccupies Larkin throughout "High Windows". He has left behind him the years of his youth, has reached 'that vague age that claims/The end of choice' and all that remains to him is movement towards death and the disappointment of looking back over his own life in comparison with the lives of the young generations who have succeeded to his world. CHURCHGOING In Philip Larkin's poem, "Churchgoing," Larkin depicts the confusion of an individual, the persona, who is compelled to enter the churches he sees on his bicycle rides. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead of commenting on the beauty of the church, he looks at the roof asking himself if it is "cleaned, or restored"" It seems that the poet is disrespectful - donating an Irish sixpence and then further emphasizing, "reflect the place was not worth stopping for." The poet is for sure that churches will fall down except for some, which will be kept as a chronic symbol where women will bring their children to touch a particular stone believing that they will work as a spell. His opinion is that "superstition, like belief, must die." This supposes a strong blow against the church and towards believe. Philip Larkin asks himself who will be the last to see the church before it deteriorates completely "some ruin-bibber" some "Christmas-addict" someone obsessed with church or someone just like him who has no believe or sympathy with the church. For the poet, the church is the place of marriage, birth and death and believes that that causes people to become fanatic towards church because they see it as the place that marks the most important points of life. Larkin also sees the church trying to make people see natural things of life such as birth and having children as being in their destiny and that people will always look for the spiritual side. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philip Larkin section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philip Larkin essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Larkin is often portrayed as being obsessed by death, but High Windows is as ...

    5 star(s)

    much a cup' making the oddness of these people being in this place at 'half-past eleven on a working day' even more extreme- the life changing experiences occurring in a hospital are highlighted here. Those who wait, do so 'tamely', as with the elderly in 'The Old Fools' they have already lost their ability to choose.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Recurring Theme of Death in the Poetry of Philip Larkin.

    4 star(s)

    - the onomatopoeic "ee" vowel sound in "whined" reflects a real whine Larkin is having about death. Larkin also includes a parallel landscape vision: "The sky is white as clay with no sun," where the marshy heavy consonants coupled with the physically heavy and saturated nature of "clay" is yoked

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An 'A' Level candidate described Larkin as a "grumpy, old, git". Based on High ...

    3 star(s)

    Larkin shows the discomfort that age brings where thoughts are constantly placed in the past with his youth, however Larkin is trapped in the present. The second definition of age is that of the ageing process, one observed by Larkin and exemplified in 'The Old Fools in which "your mouth

  2. 'Afternoons' by Philip Larkin.

    In fact this very point that i am discussing is made explicitly in the last two lines of the final stanza.

  1. Philip Larkin's Church Going.

    searching for a deeper meaning that he is convinced can be found in the church, and religion. Not only did he stop at this church, he often finds himself wondering about other churches as well. Admitting his frustration at his inability to understand religion, he explains that although he was

  2. How typical in terms of subject, theme, structure and versification is 'Faith Healing' by ...

    This is very effective. In Faith Healing, the first stanza ends, 'Their heads are clasped abruptly; then, exiled'. This is an important use of enjambment because with no full stop, we read straight on into the next verse, and this fits perfectly with the poem and story.

  1. How typical is the style and content of The Old Fools in Larkin's High ...

    Similarly to the eponymous High Windows, with their "sun-comprehending glass", this image is uplifting and calm, but also carries with it the connotations of the poems' links to ageing and dying that are, apparently, inescapable. The regular rhyme in The Old Fools is almost a trademark for Larkin - his

  2. Here, Whitsun Weddings and Dockery and Son are all poems written by Larkin that ...

    such as ?nylon gloves and jewellery substitutes?. Larkin himself however seems to realise his own arrogance as the focus shifts onto altogether more human and tender aspects of the weddings. ?The last confetti and advice were thrown? at the ?happy funeral?; these lines show Larkin?s perception of relationships as a

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work